Keeping Score: State-Level Attacks on IVF and Abortion; Florida Parents Sue DeSantis Admin Over Book Bans; LGBTQ+ Women Face High Rates of Arrest

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in this biweekly roundup.

This week: the Suoreme Court upholds access to mifepristone; Biden calls for assault weapons ban; state legislators and courts aim to tighten abortion bans and access to IVF; U.N. Women denounced the “gender-critical” movement; LGBTQ women face high rates of arrest; and more.

When the Supreme Court Cites Modern Medical Evidence, Abortion Rights Expand. When Relying on Political Evidence, They Contract.

Abortion court cases often turn on questions that are part law and part science—questions such as when a fetus becomes viable or what constitutes a threat to the health or life of a mother. Judges receive no formal training in scientific and medical literacy and few students with STEM backgrounds attend law school. Yet, judges play central roles in gatekeeping what science gets brought into the courtroom and, eventually, into a judicial opinion.

But what can non-lawyers do about this issue? Remember that judges are often elected, and if not elected, then appointed by other elected officials.

‘Vote for Abortion’ Bus Tour and Rally Show the Power of Grassroots Organizing

An extraordinary grassroots activation took place this past Saturday at 8 a.m., when two buses full of organizers, activists, celebrities, politicians, doctors and influencers braved the Phoenix heat—which would top out at 107 degrees by the afternoon—to set out on the inaugural Vote for Abortion Bus Tour and Rally, a nationwide campaign to register voters and protect abortion access and reproductive healthcare during another contentious and precarious election season.

Republicans Say Access to Birth Control Is Protected. They’re Lying.

On Wednesday, Republicans killed a bill that would have federally protected an individual’s right to access birth control and a healthcare worker’s right to distribute it. The Right to Contraception Act passed a Democratic-led House in 2022. However, since then it has been blocked by Senate Republicans at every turn.

The real question is not if birth control access is in jeopardy—that much is certain—but whether voters are going to once again ignore the dying canary in the coal mine of democracy and allow another constitutional right to fall by the wayside.

Keeping Score: Trump Convicted of 34 Felonies; Biden Celebrates Pride Month; New Anti-Abortion Law in Louisiana

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in this biweekly roundup.

This week: Trump convicted of 34 felony charges; President Biden officially recognizes Pride Month; a new law criminalizes medication abortion in Louisiana; Meghan Markle reflects on Ms.; the first Professional Women’s Hockey League championship; Mexico elected their first woman president; and more.

Senate GOP Blocks Right to Contraception Act

Wednesday afternoon, Senate Republicans blocked the Right to Contraception Act, a Democrat-led measure that would have codified the right to contraception into federal law.

“It’s very simple. It just says you have the right to use and healthcare providers have the right to provide contraception,” said Rachel Fey, vice president of policy and strategic partnerships at Power to Decide. “I think this bill is as clear as it gets, and if you can’t get behind that, I don’t think as a policymaker you should be able to say that you’re pro contraception. I think that is something that people deserve to know about their elected officials.”

Meet the Anti-Feminist Women’s Group Leveraging Their ‘Independence’ to Convince Americans to Vote Republican

The anti-feminist Independent Women’s Voice/Forum (IWF/V), backed by billionaires and anti-abortion zealots, is poised to use its leaders’ identities as women to convince voters that the GOP will protect Americans’ rights and freedoms, like access to birth control and the ability to choose if and when to have children. IWF/V’s past positions, the known agendas of their funders and their membership to Project 2025 belie their true intentions. 

Access to Contraception Should Not Be Up for Debate

I’m a women’s health nurse practitioner (NP) and educator at Emory University, teaching the next generation of NPs to care for individuals across the lifespan including for the sexual and reproductive healthcare needs.

From the first over-the-counter birth control hitting the shelves, to attacks on FDA-approved drugs, it’s felt like whiplash for reproductive freedoms in this country. 

Busting Five Myths About Birth Control

Debunking myths about birth control is not just a matter of correcting misinformation; it is crucial for empowering individuals to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health. 

Let’s explore some myths about contraception that the young people in your life may have seen online—including that it may make you infertile (not true!) and can cause cancer (quite the opposite!).